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Kentucky forward Alex Poythress out for season with torn ACL

The starting small forward was averaging 5.5 points per game for the undefeated Wildcats.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky forward Alex Poythress will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL, per head coach John Calipari. Poythress suffered the injury in practice on Thursday.

Caipari posted a letter entitled "Heartbroken for Alex" explaining the details of the injury on his own website and details the conversation he had with Poythress about his future.

When I saw Alex last night, I said to him exactly what I said to Nerlens: "You're fine. If this is something crazy, you have insurance and you're a millionaire. You have even more time than Nerlens had to prepare yourself for the draft if that's what you choose to do. You can also come back. You're going to have your degree in May and you can start on a master's degree for your last year." Alex is nearly a straight-A student and one of the greatest kids that I've ever coached.

Poythress is the starting small forward on the 10-0 Wildcats, who enter their Saturday night matchup with North Carolina as the unanimous No. 1 team in the country. He qualifies as an elder statesman as one of two juniors on Kentucky along with center Willie Cauley-Stein. The 6'8, 240-pound wing was averaging 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game for Kentucky during its undefeated start.

Kentucky is widely considered the deepest team in America with a 10-man platoon rotation that includes nine former McDonald's All-Americans. Without Poythress available, Kentucky will likely be more reliant on freshmen Trey Lyles and Devin Booker.

Kentucky last played on Wednesday against Columbia, a game in which the Wildcats trailed at the half by two points but would come back to win by 10. The schedule will only get more difficult before SEC play begins. Kentucky's next three games are against the Tar Heels, UCLA and Louisville.